MannKind Rises After Inhaled Insulin Meets Goals in Study

MannKind Corp., the drugmaker that has spent at least six years trying to get an inhaled form of insulin on the market, jumped 11 percent after a study showed the product helped diabetics control their disease.

The shares rose 73 cents to $7.59 at 4 p.m. in New York. The stock has more than tripled in the past 12 months.

Afrezza, a powdered form of insulin delivered through an inhaler, was more effective at controlling diabetics’ blood sugar levels when combined with oral diabetes medicines compared to those drugs alone, the Valencia, California-based company said today in a statement. The results are from the last stage of testing required to get U.S. regulatory approval. If cleared for sale, the product would be the only inhaled insulin on the market, potentially replacing injections and pumps.

“Based on the results of this study, we believe that Afrezza can be used to improve glycemic control in insulin-naive Type 2 diabetes patients that are not adequately controlled on conventional oral medications -- a potentially large and underserved patient population,” said Alfred Mann, the company’s chief executive officer and the billionaire entrepreneur who founded the company, in the statement.

MannKind has tested Afrezza, its most advanced experimental product, in 56 different clinical trials, according to its website. In 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration stalled introduction of the treatment requesting two new studies after the company changed the device through which the medicine is delivered. Following the decision, the company cut almost half its workforce.

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